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from the Field

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December 6, 2015
Thanking El Nino
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
A mild winter may hurt us next season in the form of bugs and crop diseases and perhaps less hibernation, but it sure feels nice to continue harvesting fresh crops this late in the year. Every time I look at the 10-day forecast and there are no temperatures predicted to drop much below 30 degrees - as well as highs in the 50s - I feel a little giddy, especially now since that puts us safely into the middle of December and closer to the Solstice. I really wouldn't mind extending the harvest beyond the end of this month and if the weather allows us to do so we just might take that leap. If we have crops in storage and crops outside that have continued to survive and thrive, why shouldn't we continue the CSA? Of course, we will need to identify a pick up schedule and all of that, but we're hoping that at least some of you, our members, would want to continue to eat nutritious produce from just down the road after the New Year.
These seeds are ready to take flight from an unknown plant that is found in large numbers in one of our meadows.
At some point it will get colder and it will become harder to keep the fresh crops alive, but we have the ability to cover them with hoops and fabric. The greens in the high tunnel will survive outside lows in the teens and most of the cold-hardy unprotected crops are good into the mid-twenties. Roots like rutabaga and radishes will probably survive even lower. Somewhere in our minds we've always wanted a year-round CSA and four years ago began offering the 6-week Late Fall CSA, which was an initial venture. The next step would be experimentation with growing and distributing later in the winter and into spring. I love the idea of a continued harvest and if this allowed the farm to scale back somewhat during the extremely busy time of year by balancing out income throughout the calendar, I think that would contribute to the long-term viability of the CSA. We'll keep you updated.
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